Networking is a Key Component in Intel® Atom™ Processor C2000-based Microserver Systems

On Wednesday, Intel took a product leadership role in the emerging market for microserver processors, thanks in part to our strength in networking.

We announced the second generation 64-bit Intel® Atom™ processor C2000 product family of system-on-chip (SoC) designs for microserver and cold storage (code named “Avoton”) and entry networking (code named “Rangeley”).

One of the key features in this product line is the integrated Intel® Ethernet controller technology derived from Intel’s extensive line of Ethernet controllers. This provides the Intel Atom processor C2000 family with high-bandwidth integrated Ethernet network connections up to 2.5Gbps.  Some of the first microserver products to feature the Intel Atom processor C2000 SoC come from NEC, Quanta, and Supermicro.

2.5 Gbps Ethernet is ideal for dense microserver designs, providing headroom for applications requiring more than one Gigabit of bandwidth. This plus the integration of Intel Ethernet controller technology allows the use of Intel’s industry-proven software drivers along with support for features such as I/O virtualization, stateless offloads, receive-side scaling, IEEE 1588 time stamping, and Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) power management.

Along with the Intel Atom processor C2000 product family, Intel introduced the Intel® Ethernet Switch FM5224, which is an ideal network switch chip to complement the Intel Atom processor C2000 family in microserver systems due to its high number of 2.5GbE ports, enabling high-density compute installations.

The Intel Ethernet Switch FM5224 runs Open Network Software from Wind River Systems, extending the Intel® Open Network Platform from currently available top-of-rack switch reference designs into microserver systems. The Intel Ethernet Switch FM5224 includes the following features tailored to microserver environments:

  • Up to 64 2.5GbE ports along with two 40GbE or eight 10GbE uplinks
  • Intel® FlexPipe™ frame processing pipeline optimized for software-defined networking (SDN) environments
  • Advanced load distribution mechanisms to balance loads across microserver modules
  • Support for data center tunneling features such as VXLAN and NVGRE
  • Low cut-through latency to improve clustering performance
  • Built-in KR and KR4 PHY technology for DA-copper uplinks

Compared to competing microserver networking solutions, the Intel Ethernet Switch FM5224 provides 25 percent higher node density, 2.5 times higher bandwidth and two times lower latency[1].  If you want more information on the FM5224 along with how it can be used in microserver systems, come and see session #CLDS006 at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco next week or visit the following link:

[1] Source: Lippis Report: Open Industry Network Performance & Power Test for Cloud Networks Evaluating 10/40 GbE Switches, Fall 2011 Edition